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PHOENIX -- For entrepreneurs it takes more than a great idea -- it takes money to get their product or services out to the public.

Securing a traditional business loan can be one of the biggest challenges an entrepreneur faces, but that's where a Valley group hopes to help.

CPLC Prestamos CDFI, LLC is a community development financial institution that provides small loans and support services. In partnership with Valley Leadership, Prestamos has created the Community Investment Fund to support local entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses.

"We are excited to give local entrepreneurs who do not qualify for traditional financing an opportunity to improve the health of our community and contribute to Arizona's economy," Brigitte Dayton, member of Valley Leadership's current class, said in a press release.

And Prestamos is prepared to offer hefty sums to some business owners.

"These loans range from $20,000 to $25,000, depending on the applicant, business plan and distinctiveness of the entrepreneurial idea," said Jose Martinez, president of CPLC Prestamos.

Top qualified applicants will compete in "Pitch Day" on May 23 where they can present their business concept and funding needs to a panel. Three to five businesses will receive loan approval and the business with the best presentation will win a $2,500 cash prize.

Applications are being accepted until Friday, April 25, at prestamosloanfund.org.

Christina Estes, Reporter

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